Vitamin C May Help Prevent Gout
Author: ANCP Date Posted:26 May 2016
In a Canadian study published in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine, 46,994 men provided researchers with information about their health status and their consumption of vitamin C from food and supplements every four years. Analysis of the data collected over the study’s 20-year duration revealed that the men who had higher intakes of vitamin C had significantly lower levels of gout.
How much vitamin C do you need?
In the study mentioned above, for every 500 mg increase in the participants’ vitamin C intake, the likelihood of gout decreased by 17%. Those men who took high doses of vitamin C (1500 mg/day) were 45% less likely to develop gout than those whose consumption of vitamin C was less than 250 mg/day.
How could it work?
Gout is caused by high blood levels of uric acid, which is created by the body during its metabolism of foods containing compounds called purines. While high uric acid levels don’t always cause gout, the characteristic pain and inflammation may occur if uric acid accumulates in the blood and forms urate crystals in the joint.
Research suggests that vitamin C may work to reduce uric acid levels reduce the risk of gout by both reducing the production of uric acid and promoting its release from the body in the urine. Note that the benefits of vitamin C for gout appear to centre on reducing the risk of gout.
To date there’s no research to confirm whether or not taking vitamin C will also aid the management of an acute attack of gout.
What else can I do?
If you've experienced an episode of gout or have been advised by your healthcare professional that your uric acid levels are high, you may need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle in order to prevent future attacks. The foundations of gout prevention are eating a diet that’s low in purines (found in seafood, meat and fructose) and avoiding alcohol (especially beer).
You may also like to try taking celery seeds, which have traditionally been used to ease gout in Western herbal medicine and increasing your consumption of cherries or their juice, as cherries have been shown to lower uric acid levels.